Meredith Yinger

Meredith Yinger, MPH

Health Policy and Management

What inspired you to study public health?

I worked clinically in healthcare during my year off, and was often frustrated by the things I could not help my patients with during that time. I decided to go into public health to try to change the system of healthcare more broadly, instead of impacting the patient experience one patient at a time.

What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?

Ill give you 2. I loved working at the Emory Autism Center as the Project Manager of the Georgia Autism Assessment Collaborative. I felt as though I was working with good people to make a positive change in the lives of families in the state of GA. I was also encouraged that this project could be the start of greater access to diagnostic and other services services for people with disabilities in Georgia. My clinical experience in the Surgical Oncology Unit at Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh was also very rewarding. I loved talking to my patients and being able to affect whether they had a good experience by providing the best care I could.

What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were starting out in public health?

There are so many issues and problems to be solved – do not get overwhelmed. Pick one thing you like and start there, you cant know enough about every problem to be effective at helping to solve it.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?

I cant choose just one, but I am very passionate about chronic disease, Long Term Care, and aging. I think our system and society are very unequipped to handle caring for the aging population, and not enough people are talking about this problem to effectively face and solve it.